Chapter 296: Strike Like a Shadow

The Scorpion was only a second-class Hunter organization whose leader was a middle Greater Heaven stage Qi warrior.

Aside from their leader, they had two other senior members at the Greater Heaven stage, but that was it.

All the rest of their members were at the Heaven stage or even lower.

As weak as they were, they had multiple members hunted down and killed by Nie Tian, which made them even weaker.

Seeing that their own search teams were being wiped out by Nie Tian one after another, their leader had to seek help from the Fang.

Soon after he informed Song Li of their situation, Song Li and Han Mu arrived at the Scorpion’s territory.

Without any delay, they instructed the few powerful members they had brought with them to spread out and search for Nie Tian.

However, Nie Tian had long since sensed the unfavorable situation and left that area.

Just as Song Li arranged for her subordinates to conduct a thorough search of the Scorpion’s territory, another Hunter organization, the Blood Hand, sent in a message, saying that they had a few members killed by Nie Tian.

After hearing the message, Song Li and Han Mu immediately realized that Nie Tian had already left the Scorpion’s territory.

Then, the two of them hastened their way to the Blood Hand’s territory.

However, just as they were searching for Nie Tian with the Blood Hand’s help, another Hunter organization sent in a message, informing them that Nie Tian had appeared in their territory.

Just like that, Song Li and Han Mu were forced to move from place to place.

After moving a few times, they grew sick of following the information they received from other Hunter organizations, so they decided to plant their members in fixed locations and wait for Nie Tian to come to them.

However, Nie Tian’s seven Heaven Eyes could discover them long before they discovered him, and he was thus able to steer clear of the locations where they were deployed.

After a long, fruitless wait, Song Li and Han Mu both looked somewhat exhausted as they stood atop a high hill.

After pondering in silence for a long time, Han Mu finally couldn’t help but say, “Miss, it seems as if that Hua Tian person is able to sense it every time we make a move. It’s as if he has deployed informants around us. Not once has he fought our Greater Heaven stage experts or the most powerful experts from the other Hunter organizations.

“Every time he has struck, he has targeted relatively weak search teams that he could easily take.

“Furthermore, it seems he never makes mistakes or puts himself in danger. No matter how hard we try, we can never catch up to him. He’s always one step ahead of us.”

Gnashing her teeth, Song Li frowned and said, “I have the same feeling.”

With the help of his Heaven Eyes, Nie Tian moved and struck like a shadow. Every time he showed up, he would rapidly finish off his enemies and then vanish again.

All the various traps and ambushes they set up to catch Nie Tian turned out to be useless.

As the Hunter organizations sustained more and more casualties, weaker organizations like the Scorpion gradually lost their spirit.

Originally, they had all assumed that it would be fairly easy to find and capture an early Heaven stage young man, so they all considered this search operation as a perfect chance to play up to Song Li.

Every Hunter organization wanted their members to discover and capture Nie Tian.

However, as time went by, they realized that it was actually a bitter task.

Even though Nie Tian’s cultivation base wasn’t high, every time he struck, he took out multiple Hunters, and all of them possessed cultivation bases higher than his.

Later, when they learned that even a few late Heaven stage Hunters had died at Nie Tian’s hands, many Hunter organizations grew anxious.

As much as they wanted to back out, they didn’t. They continued to search for Nie Tian, but they only marched in large teams, and made sure they had powerful experts on each team.

Each team had to have either a Greater Heaven stage expert or a handful of late Heaven stage experts.

By doing that, they significantly sacrificed the coverage and efficiency of their search, making their efforts perfunctory.

The Fang soon realized that they were merely muddling through their work, but they didn’t do anything, because even they had adopted the same strategy after losing a large number of their own members.

Eyebrows knit together, Han Mu said in a husky voice, “I’m guessing that Hua Tian probably has a special spiritual tool at his disposal, which he can use to detect life auras in his surroundings. This is the only explanation for how he has been able to steer clear of our powerful experts every time, and only attack targets he can take.”

Since Nie Tian’s cultivation base was rather low, they never imagined that he was actually able to obtain a thorough understanding of everything happening around him by relying on his soul power.

That was why Han Mu had attributed Nie Tian’s strangeness to a special spiritual tool.

“That’s probably the case.” Song Li shared his take on this matter. “I seems that we need to find a way to disturb that spiritual tool of his, therefore preventing him from detecting life fluctuations in his surroundings. Only in that way will we have a chance to catch him.”

“A name just came to my mind, Miss,” Han Mu said softly.

Song Li glanced at him before her eyes began glittering. She nodded and said, “Okay, you’d better go meet him in person. Grant him whatever he asks as long as it’s within our power.”

Han Mu seemed slightly hesitant as he said, “That man lives by himself out of Shatter City, and he’s got a strange temper. He doesn’t fear us at all. He’s even clashed with our members more than once. I’m afraid it won’t be easy to persuade him to help us.”

Song Li’s bright eyes circled around as she said, “As far as I understand it, he holds deep grudges against the Blood Skull. Tell him Hua Tian is the Blood Skull’s youngest guest elder, and he’s sworn friends with Cai Yuan. As powerful as he is, he’ll definitely become a important member of the Blood Skull someday. It’s only a matter of time.

“Given a few years, Hua Tian will surely grow into a formidable figure. This might pique his desire to exterminate Hua Tian before he matures.

“Then, you’ll throw in certain rewards for his effort. It will probably suffice.”

Han Mu’s eyes lit up as he replied, “Okay, I’ll do my best.”

“Yeah, and remember to treat him with respect. No one knows who he is or what he has done. He’s probably not ordinary.”

“I understand.”

Deep into the night, under the starlit sky...

Nie Tian was sitting on a rocky slope and looking into the heavens silently.

This was the place where hilly land met the wasteland. From here forward, he would have to travel on a vast plain, where there would be no hills to block his pursuers’ line of sight.

During the past few days, Nie Tian hadn’t found an opportunity to make a move on any Hunter teams.

He had discovered via his Heaven Eyes that all the search teams he encountered had been equipped with powerful experts.

Therefore, he couldn’t kill more Hunters to shock and awe his pursuers.

However, the good thing was the Hunters couldn’t form a blockade around him now that they were traveling in large groups.

With a thought, he sent a wisp of his psychic power into his bracelet of holding, where about 300 oddly-shaped stones that contained star power were piled up at the most conspicuous location.

In the next moment, one of them whizzed out.

Holding the stone in his hand, Nie Tian looked up into the starry sky as he channelled the power from the stone into his vortex of star power, where he used it to condense stardew.

Although he had tried to pry the source of those stones from the Scorpion members he had killed, they had told him that they had only snatched them from others.

However, one thing the Scorpion members had been certain of was that those stones had been acquired from somewhere in the Void Illusion Mountain Range.

During the past few days, Nie Tian had been cultivating with those stones day and night. As he did, the stardew at the bottom of his vortex of star power grew richer and richer.

When he sensed that the lake of stardew was full, he went ahead and expanded his vortex of star power with the star power he had acquired from the stones.

In his senses, the spiritual sea in his dantian was like a big ocean.

The vortexes of flame power, wood power, and star power were like three continents, inside of which there were three lakes, respectively filled with flame essence, wood essence, and stardew.

Every time he made a breakthrough, his spiritual sea, as well as the three vortexes within it and the three energy lakes within them, would be ready for a new round of expansion.

However, he could only slowly stretch the boundaries of those energy lakes after filling them to the brim.

When the lakes were expanded to the limit, it would mean that he would have to wait for his next breakthrough to further their expansion.

What he was doing now was using the strange stones to expand his lake of stardew to the limit.

As he did that, he also sent a wisp of his psychic awareness into the fragmentary star mark on his chest to learn the profound mysteries of the Stardew magic. In that way, he would soon have enough stardew to practice the magic with, and thus be able to master it within the shortest time possible.

An unknown period of time passed...

While he was in the middle of his cultivation, he discovered via one of his Heaven Eyes that a team of Hunters was marching towards him.

There weren’t any Greater Heaven stage or late Heaven stage experts on that team.

If there were no mishaps, Nie Tian would have no problem annihilating the team.

“This is strange. Don’t they ever learn?” He rose to his feet and let out a cold laugh before he snuck towards them.

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